Technology has dramatically changed the way people communicate, do business and generally lead their lives. It’s increasingly online, and it’s increasingly mobile. In turn, those technologies have created tons of data-driven marketing opportunities, and it turns out that there are some recurring themes in how CMOs are leading the charge.
A more productive approach, of course, is to consider them as opportunities. At least that’s one conclusion I drew from the topics discussed at the most recent Argyle Executive Forums CMO Leadership Forum in Philadelphia. More specifically, I was able to gain some good insights into how CMOs are leading data-driven marketing:
Define the vision and build from there
For marketing leaders at the American Red Cross, the opportunities lie in targeting potential donors with the right messages about the right ways for them to make an impact. At the same time, other opportunities result from shifting the competencies of their marketers to be comfortable with data, while maintaining their creative edge. In the face of all this change, Ms. Banafsheh Ghassemi, their VP of Customer Experience & CRM also believes the best starting point is to create a vision of what you want your customers to remember you by, and then build the rest of your marketing around that vision. This strikes me as good, solid advice and I’d add that you need to make sure that vision aligns with the corporate mission – if not, then one of the two needs to be re-thought.
Be informative – not annoying or creepy
As the executives considered customer engagement in our hyper-connected world, Andrew Shipe, VP of Marketing at Aramark Sports & Entertainment speculated that we may be breeding impatience through how we’re marketing to our audiences with these new channels and technologies. But more importantly, what’s happening is that the definition of what’s relevant now has as much to do with time and place as it does with the quality of the content. So, while we now have the ability to make offers to consumers that pass by your store, should you do it? Oppenheimer Funds’ VP of Marketing Technology, Mr. Fu’ad Butt offered that there’s a fine line between informing and annoying. And annoying can very easily become creepy.
And for some period of time as marketers continue to use online behavior, contextual data and unstructured data to inform the ways we engage our customers, there’s a certain amount of creepiness that will inevitably happen before it starts to become normal, according to Matt Spiegel, SVP and GM of Americas at MediaMath. I can see his point, but I still think markerts would do well to tread carefully about how they gather and use data. With all the controversy relating to government spying on constituents and others as revealed by Edward Snowden, there’s always the possibility of inciting possible legislation to put limitations on gathering and using online data.
Measure, check questions and visualize more
It’s clear to all that marketing now has a mandate to demonstrate ROI. So, what are some of the thoughts on metrics and conecting marketing initiatives to financial results?
We should talk less about big data, and more about how we act on that data, per MediaMath’s Spiegel. And while we’re at it, let’s stop and consider what we’ve been measuring in our traditional channels and use that as a starting point. We also need to make sure we’re capturing the right data, and also that we’re asking the right questions, added Oppenheimer’s Butt. As he put it, BI is passé and now it’s really about data visualization because that can allow you to see patterns in the data you did not previously imagine. He further added that profitability and customer lifetime value are still relevant measures, both of which you can connect to your marketing initiatives and get to ROI.
These are just three of the data-driven marketing strategy shifts that have emerged for leading CMOs to capitalize on the dramatic changes in marketing. In my next post, I'll share the remaining strategies that I captured at this Argyle CMO Forum. In the meantime, let me know what you think of these strategies, or leave a comment with your own stories of adopting data-driven marketing strategies. As always, thanks for following!